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Planned Parenthood gets a lot of attention for providing safe, legal abortion.

Abortion is an important part of what we do. The other sexual and reproductive health services we provide on a daily basis are less controversial, but also extremely important for our patients.

“A lot of birth control, all day long,” said Julie, clinician at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. “That, and emergency contraception.” 

In addition to birth control and emergency contraception, Planned Parenthood conducts a great deal of STI (sexually-transmitted infection) testing and treatment — mainly for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV.

“We offer risk-based testing for everyone who walks through the door,” said Rachel, also our clinician. “People of all genders come in with genital symptoms.”

Planned Parenthood also diagnoses and treats yeast and bacterial infections, and UTIs [urinary tract infections] every day.

“We offer many services that patients may not get with their other providers,” Rachel said. “We can do onsite microscopy and can get certain diagnoses in real time.”

Planned Parenthood clinicians frequently conduct yearly exams, like Pap tests and breast exams.

“It’s like that Planned Parenthood slogan,” Julie said, “The one that says: ‘I went to PP and all I got was….’ And it lists all those services! Patients, and critics, don’t realize they can get all those things from us.”

In addition to providing crucial everyday services, Planned Parenthood has been poised to detect problems that patients and other providers might have missed.

“We offer many screening and diagnostic tests,” Rachel said, “which in some cases result in early cancer diagnoses and transition into treatment.”

As Planned Parenthood’s reputation for being an excellent and cost-effective provider grows, so does our patient base.

“Many patients come in and pay cash. Our prices are very transparent,” Julie said. “One patient had an exam with another provider who charged over $800 for just a  Pap test. When I told her how much we charge [about ¼ of that amount], her mouth dropped open.”

“We get a lot of patients who thank us for taking the time with them,” Rachel said. “They know we won’t judge them, and these are sensitive issues we deal with. For this reason, they often feel more comfortable coming to Planned Parenthood for these services than going elsewhere.”

“They often say, ‘No one’s ever asked me that before, or explained that,’” Julie said. “They don’t know we need to test for STIs in different areas of the body, for instance. They may not know that a person can have gonorrhea in their throat. Getting a good sexual history helps determine what testing sites should be screened.”

Maybe one of the biggest votes of confidence that Planned Parenthood providers receive is when their coworkers ask them for sexual and reproductive health care.

“We treat our coworkers to the same standards that we treat our patients every day,” Rachel said. 



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